Professor Damian Bailey
A REPORT including research and analysis by the University of South Wales (USW) has found that Sport and Exercise Science (SES) graduates contribute almost £4bn a year to the UK economy and supports almost 150,000 jobs.
In the first independent analysis of its kind to quantify the impact of sport and exercise science education on the UK economy, it has been found that every £1 invested by a student in their SES education yields £5.50 in higher future wages.
Graduates can expect to earn nearly £670,000 more over the course of their working life as a result of their SES education.
The report also finds that economic benefits of SES courses are not limited to students and businesses. Graduates will contribute £7.8bn to society and the public purse, through higher earnings, added tax revenue and savings to public services.
Sport and Exercise Science – which can be studied at USW - is a vital scientific discipline that plays an important role in the health and wealth of the nation. Obesity, diabetes, cancer, depression are all areas in which Sport and Exercise Science research is playing a pivotal role in improving the health of everyone.
Research in these areas is preventing and treating conditions and diseases that cost the NHS billions every year and are becoming ever more important as we face the challenges of an ageing population. This week the British Heart Foundation found that the number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases before they reach their 75th birthday is on the rise for the first time in 50 years, making this research even more important.
The analysis has been carried out by independent economy agency Emsi for The Physiological Society and GuildHE, working with 30 universities across the country and building on data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The report is being launched in Parliament today at a reception hosted by the Shadow Education Minister, Gordon Marsden MP, with leading Sport and Exercise scientists, educators, and practitioners from across the UK.
Professor Bridget Lumb, President of The Physiological Society, said: “The findings of this project are clear: Sport and Exercise Science provides an enormous contribution to the UK economy - to the tune of almost £4bn every year, supporting almost 150,000 jobs. As well as being important for the economy, the research being undertaken in this field is vital to tackling global challenges.
“Sports and Exercise Science research is improving the quality of life of patients with life-threatening diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. These conditions cost the NHS billions every year and this research will become ever more important as we face the challenges of an ageing population.
Professor Damian Bailey of USW said: "This report is timely and the evidence that exercise is 'good medicine' that can help prevent and treat disease has a long history.
"Training the next generation of sport and exercise scientists will help combat raising healthcare costs and help guide decisions about medical management and prognosis."